Sunday, June 17, 2012

Adzes and Artifacts and Carter House

Saturday dawned much calmer than the day before, so we set out - the usual crew plus three more - Charlotte, Becca, and Zoe. The sites held up remarkably well to a record-heavy rainfall on Friday, but it was clear we needed to shelter the CHB site for the future. While the Oven Site team (Mimi, Mike and Leigh) cleared up and settled in to work, we put up a tarp over CHB as the rest began doing battle with the dense mat of roots that is the Bermudian surface layer.

Becca, Charlotte, and Zoe at work.

With just a week left, the goal of this trench is to 1) provide a window into the typical stratigraphy in the center of the house and 2) to recover datable artifacts to establish the occupation range of the site. A probe revealed that there is at least two feet of soil atop the original quarried stone floor, so we have a ways to go.

At the Oven Site, Leigh cleared out the fill from the strange grotto feature cut into the bedrock outcropping. We puzzled over its function throughout the morning. Leigh noticed a small but deep round hole in the center above, which appears to have held a rod angled downwards. There is also a small rectangular notch in the back of the feature that may or may not be an accidental quarry mark.  Anyone with any (serious) interpretations of what this might be, please comment and help us out!

Jordan forgot her fork, so creatively
made some chopticks to eat her salad
After another lunch spent at Cotton Hole Bight beach, we took the boat to Carter House to see the 1612 Settlers House they are building. We had a wonderful talk by Larry Mills, the foreman of the project, who put several students to work measuring out a roof rafter. I also challenged them to cut a hole using an auger through a cedar log (which a stubborn Quarin finally did). Charlotte, Becca, Leigh, and Kristina (with less sunscreen or interest in sharp tools) went inside the Carter House Museum to help out Alexandra with cataloguing the museum's collection of artifacts. An intense but educational afternoon with lots of hands-on history. We also could now appreciate much better what a 17th-c. archaeological site would look like after seeing a 3-dimensional version of the same.

We were also among the first to see the new whale skeleton that Carter House Museum acquired from Ross Perot, who dug it up on the beach by his Tuckers Town house:

Pretty big, but this was only a juvenile humpback - a mere 20 to 30 feet long!

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